This work offers bibliographical descriptions of all printings of erotic fiction in English issued clandestinely during the period 1800-1930. By 'clandestine' is meant books whose publishers and printers attempt to hide their identities, usually by offering title pages whose misleading places and dates of publication may shock and amuse, but which always aim to mystify. Using internal and external evidence, an attempt is made to establish who were the printers, booksellers and publishers, English and Continental, involved in this trade. The printing families or 'groups' into which a large percentage of the material falls are classified, accompanied by illustrations which identify the main printing characteristics ('house styles') of the groups. Bibliographical descriptions follow a checklist of clandestine catalogues; these provide valuable evidence for dating, pricing and 'sales pitch' and information on items of which no copies can now be traced. The work concludes with a series of appendices which provide significant external evidence, and three indexes: of themes, titles and names. Peter Mendes' original research builds on and significantly extends the essential pioneer work of the Victorian collector and bibliographer H.S. Ashbee ('Pisanus Fraxi').
’This bibliography is impressive in its breaking of new ground’ Antiquarian Book Monthly ’Mr Mendes is to be congratulated and thanked for the substantial success of his researches’ The Private Library ’This bibliography has been well researched…and has benefitted from access to substantial private collections.’ Times Literary Supplement ’…Dr Mendes’s book…gives to the study of this subject in England its first extensive bibliographical underpinning’ The Book Collector, Vol 43 no 3 ’a work of outstanding scholarship’ Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada